When it comes to long-term health and wellness, few elements of the body are more vital than the immune system. Responsible for defending the body against various invading pathogens, the immune system is a diverse, broad system that can be impacted by numerous factors, from your diet and exercise to several other areas of your health.
At Apollo Health, not only do we offer expert chiropractor services that benefit the immune system and numerous other related areas – the immune system has several direct tie-ins with the spine – we have also recently launched an online supplement dispensary that includes numerous supplements known to benefit immune health. What are some of the supplements and natural elements that tend to show the greatest benefit for the immune system? This two-part blog series will dig into everything you need to know here.
Immune System Basics
For starters, just a few more words on the immune system. This system is actually comprised of numerous immune-related cells that defend against pathogens, plus others that produce antibodies to remember past infections and fight them off if they show up again in the future.
There are numerous factors that play a role in the immune system’s operation. These range from underlying health factors and stress levels to sleep quality, nutrition and exercise. The immune system may also be benefitted by several supplements or additions, which we’ll go over for the remainder of our series.
One of the most well-known vitamins or minerals when it comes to health and the immune system is vitamin D, and its reputation is well-earned. Vitamin D helps with both innate and adaptive immune responses – that is, it both prevents pathogens from entering the system and assists with removing them if they do make it in.
Unfortunately, many Americans do not get enough vitamin D in their diets. For this reason, dietary sources or supplements containing vitamin D are often vital for immune health.
A non-vitamin area that’s shown major impact on the immune system is increased consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce cell stress responses and improve immune cell functions. These are in contrast to omega-6 fatty acids, which actually raise stress responses – and like vitamin D, many Americans are out-of-balance here and have too much omega-6 and not enough omega-3 in their diet. Luckily, both supplements and dietary increases of omega-3s are valuable.
Probiotics actually refer to live microorganisms that bring health benefits, including to the immune system. These tiny organisms activate multiple immune mechanisms within the body, such as limiting pathogen growth by competing for nutrients and other methods. Probiotics also increase immune cell responses in several areas, with supplements showing results from the intestines and spleen to connective tissues, beneficial bacteria and many others.
For more on the kinds of supplements that best benefit immune health, or to learn about any of our chiropractic care services, speak to the staff at Apollo Health today.